The SA-EU trade, development and co-operation agreement : democratising South Africa's trade policy

Bertelsmann-Scott, Talitha (2001-03)

Thesis (MA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2001.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis examines the democratisation of South Africa's foreign trade policy, by evaluating the negotiations surrounding the establishment of a free trade area between South Africa and the European Union (EU). Democracy here is defined as a form of government that rests on three components namely, public participation in and public debate over policy formulation and a governing elite that is responsive to the needs of the majority of the population. The thesis firstly outlines the process of negotiation itself, looking at the developments that shaped the years of talks. It examines the nature of the final agreement, called the Trade, Development and Co-operation Agreement (TDCA). It focuses on the Co-operation Agreements that were concluded, South Africa's partial accession to the Lomé Convention and the details of the free trade agreement. It finds that although the negotiations took very long to complete and the EU proved to be a tough negotiator, there are a number of opportunities for South Africans in the TDCA. In the second section the internal process in developing a South African negotiating mandate is examined. This is done to conclude whether or not South Africa's foreign trade policy is being formulated in a democratic manner. However, first of all the question why the democratisation of foreign trade policy formulation is important is addressed. Two possible theories are advanced. Firstly, globalisation has forced countries to lure foreign direct investment (FDI) as a matter of urgency. Seeing as FDI is mostly tied up with western nations that prefer democracies, states are opting to democratise. The focus is to a large extent on satisfying international actors. Or alternatively, the very survival of the nascent democracy today depends on the consultative nature of domestic economic and international economic policy formulation. This is not a question of choice with an external focus, but rather a matter of urgency with purely an internal focus. Four actors in foreign policy formulation, namely parliament, government, the bureaucracy and civil society, are examined in order to understand whether they had access to the process and whether these institutions themselves have been democratised since 1994. The thesis finds that the process was to a large extent democratic in nature. However, the thesis also finds that no matter how democratic policy formulation is in South Africa, the options for policy are limited by a number of international elements. These include globalisation, regional trading blocs like the European Union, and international organisations like the World Trade Organisation.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die tesis evalueer die demokratisering van Suid-Afrika se buitelandse handelsbeleid deur die onderhandelingsproses tussen die Europese Unie (EU) en Suid-Afrika rakende die sluiting van 'n vryhandelsooreenkoms te ontleed. Demokrasie word in die tesis definieer as 'n tipe regering wat rus op drie komponente, naamlik deelname in en debat oor beleidsformulering en 'n regerende elite wat die behoeftes van die meerderheid van die burgers in ag neem in beleidsformulering. Eerstens omskryf die tesis die gebeure wat die onderhandelingsproses beïnvloed het. Die finale ooreenkoms word oorweeg teen die agtergrond van die samewerkingsooreenkomste wat tussen die partye gesluit is, Suid-Afrika se gedeeltelike deelname aan die Lomé Konfensie en die vryhandelsooreenkoms. Die gevolgtrekking word bereik dat ten spyte van die feit dat die onderhandelings oor 'n hele aantal jare gestek het, en alhoewel die EU 'n uitgeslape onderhandelaar was, die orreenkoms talle geleenthede vir Suid-Afrikaners skep. In die tweede instansie word die interne proses wat tot Suid-Afrika se onderhandelingsmandaat gelei het, ondersoek. Dit is gedoen om vas te stel of die beleid op 'n demokratiese manier geformuleer is. Daar word egter eers bepaal waarom die demokratisering van buitelandse handelsbeleid belangrik is. Twee moontlike teorie word geformuleer. Die eerste stel dit dat globalisering lande forseer om direkte buitelandse beleggings aan te lok. Siende dat buitelandse beleggings van westerlike state afkomstig is, wat verkies om met demokratiese state sake te doen, word ontwikkelende lande as te ware geforseer om veral hulle buitelandse beleidsformulering te demokratiseer. In die alternatief kan dit betoog word dat die voortbestaan van die demokrasie self afhang van 'n ekonomiese beleidsformulering wat beide binnelandse en internasionale prosesse insluit. Dit is nie 'n kwessie van keuse met 'n eksterne fokus nie, maar 'n noodsaaklikheid met 'n interne fokus. Vier groeperinge wat buitelandse beleidsformulering beïnvloed word ondersoek, naamlik die Parlament, the regering, die burokrasie en die burgerlike samelewing, om vas te stelof hierdie instansies toegang tot die proses gehad het en of hierdie instansies self sedert 1994 gedemokratiseer is. Die tesis kom tot die gevolgtrekking dat al is die formulering van buitelandse beleid hoé demokraties, word die moontlikehede vir beleidsformulering beperk deur globalisering, streeksorganisasies soos die EU, en internasionale organisasies soos the Wêreld Handelsorganisasie. Vir Chris, Gitti, Thomas en my ouers, sonder wie hierdie nooit klaar sou gekom het nie. Baie dankie ook aan Prof Philip Nel vir sy hulp, leiding en ondersteuning.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52573
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